Take that GM. Toyota is one of the global leaders in the field of Automobiles. Their commitment to make fuel-efficient and clean engines has fetched them an award at the prestigious International Engine of the Year Awards this year.
But don’t assume it’s because of the Prius and veer away from the rest of this article. Toyota ’s Polish-made, 1-litre three-cylinder 67bhp gasoline unit as found in the Toyota’s own Aygo, Yaris, Echo and Vitz and in the Citroën’s C1, Peugeot’s 107 and Subaru’s Justy came out successful but not without some tough competition.
In the sub-one litre category things couldn’t have been any better. The final contestants were Mitsubishi’s 84bhp 999cc three-cylinder turbo and Daimler’s 45bhp 799cc diesel unit, which is recognized as the world’s smallest direct injection diesel engine. Interestingly both those engines at present serve the Smart Fortwo city car.
But that didn’t bother our winner. The main reasons behind its success was its feather like weight, tipping the scales at 67 kg, it is no wonder this is the world’s lightest internal combustion engine.
The technology that goes into making such a light package isn’t rocket science. The use of a light weight material like aluminium to construct it helps achieve this feat. Aiding the cause futher is its extra-small cylinder bore-to-bore distance (wall thickness between bores is just 7mm), and the use of a light weight resin throttle body and fuel delivery pipe. The air intake system and engine cover is an integral piece, a design first for Toyota, a weight-saving initiative.
The panel was also impressed with its Variable Valve Timing system (VVT-i) technology, which holds responsibility for the smooth acceleration, a crucial factor that won this award for Toyota.
This engine is literally a fuel-sipper. 4L/100km on a combined cycle is as good as its gets, giving it another entry in the record books as one of the most fuel efficient engines in today’s cars. A figure of 109g/km of CO2 emissions speaks for itself and strengthens the point that this victory is a well deserved one.